U.S. Attorney Announces Availability of $489,571 in Funding to Reduce Violent Crime and Gun Violence in the Western District of Kentucky
Louisville, KY –Last week a federal jury convicted a local man of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and marijuana and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The jury found him not guilty of using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in murder and of conspiracy to obstruct justice-witness tampering.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott of the DEA Louisville Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office, Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the ATF Louisville Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Rob Holman of the United States Secret Service, Chief Erika Shields of the Louisville Metro Police Department, Chief Richard Sanders of the Jeffersontown Police Department, and Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. of the Kentucky State Police made the announcement.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Charles O. Cater, 47, conspired with his co-defendants, Javier Rodriguez, and Dwayne Castle, to possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and less than fifty kilograms of marijuana. During a week and a half of trial, evidence of Cater’s involvement in the drug distribution conspiracy was proven through multiple intercepted cell phone calls and text messages; evidence collected from multiple search warrants and business records; video evidence; and the testimony of numerous witnesses. Cater also illegally possessed a Sig Sauer, Model P220, .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol after having previously being convicted of a felony, including robbery in the first degree, complicity to kidnapping an adult, and complicity to unlawful imprisonment in the first degree.
On August 19, 2019, Castle pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and to using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in murder. On October 18, 2022, Rodriguez pled guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and to using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in murder.
Sentencing for Cater is scheduled for March 22, 2023, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. Sentencing for Rodriguez is scheduled for March 15, 2023. Sentencing for Castle will be set by further order of the court. All defendants remain in custody pending sentencing. Each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mac Shannon and Rob Bonar prosecuted the case with the assistance of paralegal Adela Alic.